Two Scottish trust officials have been accused of pressurising a patient to withdraw a complaint of sexual malpractice against a consultant gynaecologist.

The claims were made during the trial at Wick Sheriff Court of 48-year- old Sebastian Borges, who was cleared of all the charges against him.

A 22-year-old woman told the jury she believed officials from Caithness and Sutherland trust tried to get her to drop an accusation that she had been indecently assaulted by Dr Borges.

She claimed the doctor exposed himself while conducting a pre-natal scan in Dunbar Hospital, Thurso, in October 1993 ,and was interviewed by the then chief executive, George Buchanan, and a female colleague.

'They said it was my word against his and that I had to be very careful as his career was on the line,' the woman told the court.

She did not pursue her complaint, but claimed she had been assured it would be reactivated if the trust received a similar complaint from another patient.

In March 1997, the woman saw a newspaper article about a man charged with an alleged sexual offence against a pregnant teenager at Caithness General Hospital.

She realised the allegations involved the same doctor, contacted the police and repeated her own allegations. The trust suspended Dr Borges after he was accused of exposing himself to the teenager. Caithness and Sutherland trust said last week he would remain suspended during an internal inquiry.

The trust is also expected to review its practice of allowing unchaperoned doctors to carry out scans on mothers-to-be. Dr Borges told the court that he had complained about the practice because it left doctors at 'serious risk' of allegations of sexual malpractice.